When Gérard Depardieu was “unbearable” on the set of Asterix at the Olympic Games

When Gérard Depardieu was "insupportable" on the set of Asterix at the Olympic Games
Pathé

“We had to fake his eyes to try and make it look like he was really talking to Asterix!”

This summer, BFM TV returned to several crazy projects of French cinema, including Asterix at the Olympic Games (2008), rebroadcast this Thursday evening on TF1. Its directors Thomas Langmann and Frédéric Forestier recount his extraordinary shooting, the tensions between them, but also with certain actors, including Gérard Depardieu, who was not very motivated on the set, according to Langmann. He was even “insupportable”, in the words of the producer, and one of the technicians details that the interpreter of Obelix did not know his lyrics. The team then set up several stratagems so that he could say his lines, such as copying them onto large panels placed behind his partners. “He wanted to do as little as possible, he explains. He sent his understudy when the camera was far away. He didn’t want to put on makeup before putting on his costume. He does not (the actors to whom he gave the reply) never looked in the eyes and it showed! For a brawl scene, we had to fake his eyes to try to make it look like he was really talking to Asterix! ”

Stephen Chow was supposed to play Shaolinsoccerus in Asterix at the Olympics

If Clovis Cornillac was very invested in the main role, Thomas Langmann regrets that Benoît Poelvoorde was not as involved in that of Brutus as when he played in The ball, already for the same producer. “He was lazy, the latter gets carried away. He didn’t want to improvise. While he was excited to play Brutus, to play with Delon, all of a sudden he twisted. He no longer assumed. He weighed down the film a lot, while he had been a love on The ball. ” As for Alain Delon, who plays César, he has outright banned Langmann from the stage, after an argument! The star set his producer on fire when he learned that he had shown images of the film to TF1 without his consent. “He had written to me in his contract that I could not broadcast any promo without him having validated it, Langman remembers. So I got a phone call from Delon saying, ‘I’m going to kill you!’ At first, I gave him a little answer. What not to do! “

Tensions which partly explain the poor reception of the film. Because if Asterix at the Olympic Games was a public success with 6.8 million admissions in France, it received bad reviews.

Gilles Lellouche took 20 kilos to play Obélix and was “scared” to succeed Gérard Depardieu

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